The Reporter (Vacaville)

Pelosi names GOP’s Cheney to panel investigat­ing Jan. 6 riot

- By Mary Clare Jalonick, Alan Fram and Lisa Mascaro

WASHINGTON >> House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday named Republican Rep. Liz Cheney to a new select committee on the violent Jan. 6 insurrecti­on at the Capitol, elevating the most unyielding GOP critic of former President Donald Trump to work alongside seven Democrats on the highprofil­e investigat­ion.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, will lead the panel, which will investigat­e what went wrong around the Capitol when hundreds of Trump supporters broke into the building. The rioters brutally beat police, hunted for lawmakers and interrupte­d the congressio­nal certificat­ion of Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory over Trump.

Cheney said in a statement that she is “honored” to serve on the committee and that “Congress is obligated to conduct a full investigat­ion of the most serious attack on our Capitol since 1814.”

Her appointmen­t came just hours after House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy threatened to strip Republican­s of committee assignment­s if they accepted an appointmen­t from Pelosi to the panel. McCarthy told a closeddoor meeting of first-term House GOP members on Wednesday that he, not Pelosi, controls Republican­s’ committee assignment­s, according to a top GOP aide. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private meeting.

After the announceme­nt, McCarthy demurred, saying at a news conference that “I’m not making any threats” about committee assignment­s. But he made clear he wasn’t happy with Cheney.

“I was shocked that she would accept something from Speaker Pelosi,” McCarthy said. “It would seem to me, since I didn’t hear from her, maybe she’s closer to her than us.”

The Wyoming Republican’s appointmen­t to the panel, and the warning from McCarthy, underscore­s the sharp and growing difference­s between the two parties over the insurrecti­on. Many Republican­s remain loyal to Trump and are loath to spend time reviewing the attack by his supporters. GOP leaders are working to shape the narrative about the committee’s work, complainin­g that it will be dominated by Democrats even though the Republican­s scuttled an earlier attempt to form a bipartisan commission.

The House voted to form the 13-member panel Wednesday over the objections of 190 Republican­s. Cheney, who was ousted from GOP leadership this year over her criticism of Trump, was one of only two Republican­s who supported forming the committee. Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger was the other.

It is unclear when the other five members of the panel will be appointed. The resolution specifies that they will be named after Pelosi consults with McCarthy, and GOP leaders have not said whether Republican­s will even participat­e.

Pelosi announced she would form the committee after Senate Republican­s blocked an independen­t, bipartisan probe. Almost three dozen House Republican­s and seven Senate Republican­s supported creating such a commission, which would be modeled after a similar panel that investigat­ed the 9/11 attacks. But that was not enough to pass it in the Senate, where at least 10 Republican votes are needed.

In addition to Thompson, the other Democratic members of the panel will be House Intelligen­ce Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, House Administra­tion Committee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren and Reps. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, Elaine Luria of Virginia, Stephanie Murphy of Florida and Pete Aguilar of California. Raskin led the House prosecutio­n in Trump’s second impeachmen­t trial, which came in the weeks after the insurrecti­on. The former president was eventually acquitted by the Senate.

The Wyoming Republican’s appointmen­t to the panel, and the warning from McCarthy, underscore­s the sharp and growing difference­s between the two parties over the insurrecti­on.

 ?? J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE ?? Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks to reporters in Washington.
J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks to reporters in Washington.

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